The reimagining of the original cult series really needs direction, and we have some ideas on how to fix it ahead of season two.
Night Court premiered on NBC in 1984. It was a sitcom about the night shift of a Manhattan Criminal court and soon became a hit series. People enjoyed learning about the intricacies of the US justice system through the jokes and misadventures of the extraordinary young judge Harry Stone, who was radically different from the stereotypical judges that were common on TV at the time.
The show also featured a great supporting cast, insanely funny cases, and never shied away from relevant controversial topics.
So few people were surprised when NBC decided to revive the show in 2023, but the results have so far been rather disappointing.
The reboot follows Abby Stone, the daughter of the late Harry, who decides to take her father's place as a night court judge. Although fans loved the premise, the series as a whole was almost immediately trashed, with people saying the new version fell far short of the original in the humour department.
While there is a fair amount of truth to this criticism, it's important to remember that the original series wasn't a masterpiece throughout its long run.
The 1980s Night Court's first two seasons were mediocre at best, with the series picking up steam and becoming a pop culture sensation only after the third season. Making a great sitcom on the first try is almost impossible, so the reboot probably also needs time to find its stride. And we have some ideas on what can be improved about the series ahead of season two.
First, the reimagined series fails miserably when it comes to the cases the judge reviews: they're either boring or non-existent. Developing relationships between the characters is certainly important, but doing it at the expense of the cases is a huge mistake on NBC's part.
The original show is remembered with such fondness, to a large extent, because of its interesting and often funny court cases, so we believe the reboot's writers should really come up with some compelling cases for the show's characters and viewers to sink their teeth into in season two.
Second, the new series seems to steer clear of controversy, unlike the original, which often sought it out and remained imminently relevant by dealing head-on with issues that were on everybody's mind at the time. The reboot tries too hard not to offend anyone, thus breaking with the original show's legacy and coming across as toothless and forever censored.
The reimagined Night Court has a great cast, but the original's fans are not pleased with the direction and focus of the new series. NBC should seriously reconsider its strategy regarding the new show if they want to keep it on the air for more than just a couple of seasons.